Zimbabwe teachers plan class boycotts

Zimbabwe teachers plan class boycotts
Published: 13 August 2019 (96 Views)
FED up teachers have threatened not to return to work when schools re-open for the third term next month - unless the government hikes their salaries significantly.

The threats come as most schools, both private and public, have sharply increased their fees for the third term - leaving thousands of parents and their children reeling.

The agitated teachers told the Daily News yesterday that their salaries had been seriously eroded by inflation and the country's relentless prices increases - which have been exacerbated by Finance minister Mthuli Ncube's economic measures.

Zimbabwe Teachers Association (Zimta) secretary general Tapson Sibanda said educators wanted the government to give them a significant salary increase.

"Zimta still stands by its earlier position that for a teacher to survive in this hostile economic condition, he/she needs a cost of living adjustment of not less than $4 600 .
"This position was communicated to government through the

parliamentary committees on Labour and Education and was also presented to the President earlier this year.

"It should be noted if this demand is not met, schools are not likely to open in September 2019," Sibanda said.

He said teachers were now waiting for another round of talks to negotiate their remuneration for the period August to December, before embarking on "new" action.

"In this round, we will not be accepting anything below what we took home in July, which was $1 000. We expect government to be more proactive and award us not less than $4 600," he said.

Progressive Teachers Union (PTUZ) secretary-general Raymond Majongwe said the current economic upheaval in the country had reduced teachers to being "mere beggars".

"Government should listen. These heroes of this sector can't wallow in poverty forever. Akubaira zanhi ndewako (He who forewarns you is your friend)," he said.

Militant Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (Artuz) president Obert Masaraure told the Daily News that teachers would "definitely not be going back to their schools unless their salaries are reviewed favourably".

"The employer should pay our hard-working teachers and other civil servants using the interbank rate.

"Third term is a busy season which involves learners writing their final examinations. We urge our government to be pro-people for once and resolve this salary crisis," Masaraure said.

Zimbabwe is experiencing its worst economic crisis in a decade, as it battles debilitating shortages of power, foreign currency, critical medicines and fuel.

Official inflation has also now reached an alarming 175,66 percent - dampening the hopes of long-suffering Zimbabweans, many of whom were beginning to hope that the mad prices of basic goods in the country would soon start to go down.

- dailynews

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